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The 5 C's of Hiring


In today’s economy, hiring the right people is more important than ever. It costs a lot of money to hire new employees and train them, provide the equipment necessary for them to perform their jobs, and supply the benefits and bonuses needed to keep them happy and motivated. As a result, potential employers are more concerned than ever before about getting the maximum return on investment from each new hire.

Over the course of my career, I’ve hired a number of people. Some of my hires were exceptional and others just didn’t work out. By reviewing those successful hires, I determined they all shared similar characteristics that led to them being a solid employee who provided a strong ROI.

Since conducting this research, I’ve turned these five items into a list:

1. Competent. Does this potential employee have the necessary skills and education to perform the tasks you’re asking them to perform?

2. Capable. Will this person complete not only the easy tasks but also find ways to deliver on the functions that require more effort and creativity to accomplish? Being capable means that the employee has potential for growth and the ability and willingness to take on more responsibility.

3. Compatible. Can this person get along with colleagues and, even more important, can he or she co-exist with existing and potential clients and partners? A critical component that cannot be forgotten in terms of compatibility is the person’s willingness and ability to get along with you as his or her boss. If a new employee can’t get along with you, it doesn’t really matter if he or she can get along with co-workers.

4. Commitment. When times get tough, will this person stick to it or will he or she give up and throw in the towel? I look for someone who has faced adversity before and successfully worked out of it.

5. Character. By character, I mean: Does the person have values that align with you and your business? Is he or she honest? Tell the truth? Keep promises? Additionally, how does this person respond to a challenge or a setback? How people respond in the face of adversity says more about them than any résumé or job reference.

If you find that a job candidate can measure up to these five qualities, your chances of securing a long-term employee who will bring the desired ROI will skyrocket.

Alan Hall

Founder & Chairman

Grow Utah Ventures

Salt Lake City


Steve Ballmer, Power Forward
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